Keeping Your Hands and Fingers Limber

Your hands are one of the most used parts of your body. If you have a job that emphasizes typing or some other repetitive task that requires you to use your finger strength, you suffer from osteoarthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome, or you’re just curious about increasing the flexibility, strength, and dexterity in your hands, here are ten ways to exercise your hands and fingers. These exercises should be done in repetitions of 10, several times a week:

  • Thumb Circles: Hold your hand in a “thumbs up” position, and make gentle circles with your thumb. Then, change the direction of your thumb circles. The goal is to feel the full range of motion your thumb is capable of.
  • Grip Strength: Hold a soft stress ball in your hand, centering it on your palm. Squeeze as hard as you can, holding for a few seconds and then releasing.
  • Flexing Full Fist: Making a full fist perfectly showcases the full distance your fingers can travel. Hold your hand in a fist, gently and without clenching. Then fully open your hand. Alternate these opening and closing motions, holding each position for a few seconds.
  • Flexing Straight Fist: Extend your fingers out and hold that position. Then make a straight fist; one where your thumb stays pointing up.
  • Touching Tips: Hold your hand up in the air in front of you, palm facing away. Touch your pinkie finger to your thumb then go back to the “start” position of the exercise. Touch your ring finger to your thumb, and put it back. Repeat this until all your other fingers have touched your thumb.
  • The “O” Stretch: Curve all of the fingers on your hand inward until they touch, making an “O” shape where the bottom of the “O” is your thumb, and the top is the rest of your fingers. Hold this position for a few seconds, then straighten your fingers.
  • Wrist Stretch: Wrists tend to get sore and stiff just like hands and fingers. Give your wrist a much-needed stretch. Hold one arm out with your hand hanging limply from your wrist. Hold out your other arm. With this hand, gently press on the back of your hand until you feel a stretch in your wrist and arm.
  • Finger Bends: Bend your fingers one at a time, holding each stretch for a couple of seconds. These finger isolations can also be done with the thumb.
  • Pinching Strength: Hold a stress ball with your fingers and give it a good pinch. Hold the pinch for a couple of seconds and then release.
  • Hook Fist Stretch: Take your fingers and extend them straight out. Make a hook fist, then return to a straight hand.